Libertarian Businessman Says Goodbye to California with the New Year

CaliforniaWelcomeBy Scott Shackford  

Libertarian businessman and park privatization advocate Warren Meyer is celebrating the new year by getting the heck out of California, like so many other businesses. He posted the many reasons why it’s so hard to do business in the Golden State, particularly in Ventura County, on his blog. Here’s a sampling of some of the reasons:

  • It took years in Ventura County to make even the simplest modifications to the campground we ran.  For example, it took 7 separate permits from the County (each requiring a substantial payment) just to remove a wooden deck that the County inspector had condemned.  In order to allow us to temporarily park a small concession trailer in the parking lot, we had to (among other steps) take a soil sample of the dirt under the asphalt of the parking lot.   It took 3 years to permit a simple 500 gallon fuel tank with CARB and the County equivalent.   The entire campground desperately needed a major renovation but the smallest change would have triggered millions of dollars of new facility requirements from the County that we simply could not afford.
  • In most states we pay a percent or two of wages for unemployment insurance.  In California we pay almost 7%.  Our summer seasonal employees often take the winter off, working only in the summer, but claim unemployment insurance anyway.  They are supposed to be looking for work, but they seldom are and California refuses to police the matter.  Several couples spend the whole winter in Mexico, collecting unemployment all the while.  So I have to pay a fortune to support these folks’ winter vacations.
  • California is raising minimum wages over the next 2 years by $2.  Many of our prices are frozen by our landlord based on past agreements they have entered into, so we had no way to offset these extra costs.  At some point, Obamacare will stop waiving its employer mandate and we will owe $2000-$3000 extra additional for each employee.  There was simply no way to support these costs without expanding to increase our size, which is impossible (see above) due to County regulations.

Meyer noted at the end that while California’s high-tax climate is often eyed as being a business-killer, it wasn’t as large an issue for him. California’s horrible regulatory structure and fee system doesn’t get nearly enough attention as everybody argues about the taxation limits put in place by Proposition 13. Whenever any progressive whines that Proposition 13 is tying the state’s hands in collecting revenue, he or she needs to be reminded that the state and the various municipalities within the state milk every single cent they can get out of businesses. Unfortunately, state politicians only seem to care when regulations threaten their favorite train or stadium projects.

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Scott Shackford is an associate editor at Reason 24/7 and lives in Los Angeles with his dog. Follow Scott Shackford on Twitter.
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Reprinted with permission of http://reason.com/
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4 Responses to Libertarian Businessman Says Goodbye to California with the New Year

  1. Me January 29, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    Parks do not need to be private for this to change. This is Agenda 21 – which is actually a private takeover under the guise of big government. A global elite is taking over, and most people are sitting around with their thumbs up their asses, repeating “That could never happen here, that is a conspiracy theory” over, and over and over…. A private dictator is no better than a public one. Government are the puppets of the oppressors. Serves you right, lazy slobs.

    Reply
  2. William "Bill" Hicks January 28, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    SO, my argument that fee’s would be a way to get around prop 13 tax limitations has shown its fruits.

    Reply
  3. stefan djordjevic January 28, 2014 at 12:46 am

    we needed wise people with foresight 40 years ago to stave off the impending doom. it didn’t have to happen, but i’m afraid it’s irreversible at this point. let’s hope that’s not the case for the country at large.

    Reply
  4. Citizen Reporter January 27, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    Debate going on over this on our Facebook site. One reader, Phil Pausmer, offered this:

    http://californiapublicpolicycenter.org/unaffordable-california-january-2014-update/

    Reply

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